Djibouti: Partnering up public and private sectors on trade priorities means improving the doing business environment
The President of Djibouti, H.E. Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh officially launched the High National Council of Public-Private Dialogue on 23 March 2014. The event was organized by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and supported by the EIF programme in Djibouti. The High-level event brought together Members of Government, the National Chamber of Commerce, private sector operators and policy makers in the public sector.
The High National Council of Public-Private Dialogue was launched with the aim to improve the business environment in Djibouti. As part of the EIF Tier 1 project objectives in Djibouti, the Council will support the programme’s efforts in using trade as a tool for economic growth and development. The platform will also support the coordinated assistance to priorities identified in the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS), currently being updated with UNCTAD.
The President of Djibouti noted that having in place a strong institutional mechanism for dialogue between the public and private sector would have a significant impact in reforming the business environment. “The creation of HCNDPP is an invitation to the business community of our country. It is based on participation and joint approach in the selection of its members and the definition of its missions,” he stated. “As part of the policy framework for improving the business climate and investment environment in Djibouti, the establishment of the High Council reflects the Government's commitment to institutionalize the public-private dialogue.”
The institutional High National Council of Public-Private Dialogue will be composed of three joint bodies. These include the Strategic Steering Committee, the Technical Committee and the Permanent Secretariat which consists of all ministries as well as representatives of various private sector associations.
The President of the National Chamber of Commerce, Mr Youssouf Moussa Dawaleh emphasized that such dialogue should contribute to improving the prominence and visibility of the business environment, supporting private sector investment reforms and leading to economic development. To this end, he urged his institution to ensure that private sector is adequately represented to guarantee that the platform is a success, calling also on the good will of the private sector to be actively engaged to drive forward the process and reform of the business environment.
"For several years, the Government has initiated major reforms and policies to transform Djibouti into a commercial platform and services for the Greater Horn of Africa. This has resulted, among other things, in the development and rehabilitation of transport infrastructure to support the ports of Djibouti, considered the engine of economic growth and employment through the creation of commercial and industrial zone and by improving the business environment." Mr Dawaleh stated.
The Council brings together the different actors in the public and private sectors to engage and build mutual trust between the two sectors. The Minister of Economy and Finance, H.E. Mr Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh further explained that the platform was to help create a culture of dialogue that can drive economic and social investments to a shared and inclusive growth. He added that an inclusive public-private dialogue required a consultation phase to reach a consensus around issues that may arise in the agenda of objectives, and translating these into policies, strategies and implementation plans. This would strengthen the gains of good governance and the priorities to reform the business environment.
"The success of this new structure will be largely determined by how this dialogue will be organized within the mechanisms that will be put in place so that all stakeholders can make their voices heard," H.E. Mr Dawaleh noted. "It's becoming aware of the main problems that require different private sector actors, and giving the opportunity to all to contribute in developing the strategic development decisions, we will achieve together, an economic growth that will benefit all the people of Djibouti," he added.
In Djibouti, the EIF Tier 1 project was approved in June 2011, which has since supported a coordinated approach to trade by the public and private sectors as well as by development partners.